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Wicca:Good Or Bad Final Answers

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by Religious Crisis, Mar 24, 2002.

  1. Good

  2. Bad

  3. No Opinion

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  1. Havoc

    Havoc Celtic Witch

    +88
    Pagan
    That is very true. I will not defend the tendancy of Wiccans to be skittish when first meeting Christians but one can understand the human aspect. If every dog you ever met bit you, you would be somewhat defensive around a new dog. It wouldn't be fair but it would be understandable.
     
  2. Havoc

    Havoc Celtic Witch

    +88
    Pagan
    Of course your Bible in it's original language doesn't mention Witches or Witchcraft at all. King James had it entrenched in the KJV in order to legalise his very lucrative business of Witch Hunting.
     
  3. stillsmallvoice

    stillsmallvoice The Narn rule!

    +173
    Judaism
    Married
    Hi all!

    Lessee...

    MyJhongFist posted:

    Well said. I don't see why anyone should have a problem in acknowledging that a Wiccan's beliefs have as much meaning for them as our Jewish/Christian beliefs have for us. Live and let live; why do so many people have a problem with that?

    Lacmeh was correct vis-a-vis his/her comments on MyJhongFist 's post (#58). One could certainly understand & excuse a pagan's skittishness or awkwardness in dealing with/talking to Christians given the quantity of vitriol & intolerance that some Christians seem to delight in heaping on them (kinda similar to the problems that some orthodox & ultra-orthodox Jews have vis-a-vis a dialogue with Christians). Havoc got it right (post #61).

    However, Havoc did not get it right (I don't think) in post #62. The Bible, in its original language (i.e. Hebrew) does refer to witches, necromancers, mediums, familiar spirits, etc. But, today's pagans hardly engage in the foul & loathsome rites (burning children to Molech, temple prostitution, etc.) of the ancient Canaanites, Moabites, etc. Also, in the Jewish view, the Torah's many pronouncements against witches, necromancers, etc. do not apply to non-Jews.

    One of our Sages said that we must be very, very careful in rooting out sin and touting virtue. We should root out sin in ourselves before looking to root it out in others & tout others' virtues before we tout our own.

    Be well!

    ssv :wave:
     
  4. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    I thought it was pretty weird. I've seen a couple of people who sort of politely dropped hints that they were looking for converts, but this one was like "Do you know about Wicca? [blah blah blah]". She was clearly a newbie; I think she'd converted within the last couple of weeks.

    She was also very unclear on what it meant to discuss "other" Pagan religions; I think she'd gotten a pretty heavily revised version of the history.

    I have to admit, it's the exception rather than the rule, at least, so far.
     
  5. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    I think, arguably, the category is then so broad as to be pretty hard to use. I'm not sure how much there is in common between what Moses would have called a "witch" and the quiet guy I know who works at a bookstore and believes in "the Goddess". I mean, neither of them is a Christian... but on the other hand, the modern one has nearly the same set of moral codes I do, believes in divinity outside and beyond humans, and so on... He's a lot closer to my beliefs, in a lot of ways, than many Christians and Jews. (Not, arguably, close enough - but there's not much to be done about that.)
     
  6. Havoc

    Havoc Celtic Witch

    +88
    Pagan
    The etymology of the word "Witch" is quite well known. It is Saxon in origin and originally referred to practitioners of The Celtic, Saxon, and Norse religions. These were the solitary Village healers and spiritual leaders apart from the organised religious structure such as the Druids.

    The words used in the Old testament and incorrectly translated as "Witch" refer to the practice of some Hebrew Mystics of the time who used "magic" to curse and harm others. The Hebrews had no contact with the Celts or Saxons and so it is ridiculous to think that your God would have warned the Hebrews to kill people they would never have met. The new testament greek refers to poisoners, not Witches. Witches historically were healers, not killers, and were well respected and sought after.

    The use of the word "Witch" to mean any mystical practice that is not Christian is a result of the Witch PAnic of the late middel ages, from which King James made much profit and derived no small amount of personal pleasure. Christian missionaries continued the practice of labelling anything as Witchcraft even if it had no correspondence with actual Celtic or Saxon Witches.

    I can imagine a scene a couple of hundred years ago when the first Christian Missionaries were invading Africa.

    "Kimibi, tell those poeple in that village that we have come to enlighten them."

    "Yes Bwana, but they won't like it, they already consider themselves enlightened."

    "Well they don't have much choice, we'll save their souls if it kills them. What is that man doing there?"

    "Bwana, that man is the Village spiritual leader. He is performing the rituals of the faith of these people. It is called. in their language, ixpltl."

    " Oh, you mean witchcraft."

    "What is 'witchcraft' Bwana?"

    "That what they are doing."

    "Strange Bwana, I don't think it has anything to do with the ancient rituals and traditions of Northern European peoples, but hey, your the missionary"
     
  7. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    I think you're partially right. The thing is, the term "witch" was used to refer to a thing referred to in the Bible - but it was broadened somewhat in the process, to include by reference all the stuff the Bible associates with [X], where [X] is often translated in English as "witchcraft".

    That said, a *lot* of spiritualists of various sorts do divinations, talk to spirits, and so on... so there's clearly some common ground between the various groups.

    I think the objection to "foreign mystical practices" predates the adoption of the term Witchcraft. So, for instance, if the early church had simply coined a word, "zorbage", for the practice of various rituals, they'd be accusing all these various mystics, *including witches*, of "zorbage", and it would be much less confusing.

    The confusion comes from the adaptation of a fairly narrow word to a fairly broad range of "vaguely related" concepts.
     
  8. Havoc

    Havoc Celtic Witch

    +88
    Pagan
    There is no doubt that some of the practices of Witches, divination, speaking to other world beings etc, is forbidden to Christians. That is still not an excuse for putting a death sentence on a group of people unrelated to the people actually spoken about.

    Let's say, hypothetically, that the early hebrews had some people with a gambling problem. Perhaps God might have said "thou shalt not suffer those with a gambling problem to live". If King James then said, "hey... Druids sometimes gamble." and procedded to have it translated "thou shalt not suffer a Druid to live." would this mean the bible tells you to kill druids? Of course not. Nor would you be justified in calling anyone anywhere who gambles a Druid. But that is basically the sort of thing that happened with the word "Witch".
     
  9. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    Well, could you suggest a good English word for "people whose religions which are different from ours encourage the use of magic, and who practice magic"?

    I think there's a big difference, in that Druidism is not *defined* by gambling, but I have never heard of a witch who didn't use magic.
     
  10. Stormy

    Stormy Senior Contributor

    +825
    Christian
    US-Others
    Rather than debate the point, let's assume that a wiccan really can accomplish what she sets out to do by magic.

    God does not wish for us to do magic. So it would be contrary to that thought to say that he is behind the spells.

    The power than must come from the dark side.

    NO? :scratch:
     
  11. Havoc

    Havoc Celtic Witch

    +88
    Pagan
    I've never heard of a Witch who used magic to harm others...

    The point is not that Witches do magick, but that the mistranslation of that word singles out a particular religion for special persecution when the original text referred to a completley different situation.

    There's a big difference between Hebrew mystics who used sorcery and poisons to harm people and Celtic village healers, yet that verse is still used to try to deny Wiccans jobs, the right to parent, the right to open a business, the right to gather peacefully, etc. based solely on these few verses. Christians wouldn't think of denying Buddhists these rights, but Witches are fair game because of it. False Witness it seems is ok as long as it's in the translation.
     
  12. Havoc

    Havoc Celtic Witch

    +88
    Pagan
    That is your belief, not mine. However the particular point in debate was whether Witchcraft is forbidden to Christians simply becuase it's another faith, or whether it is specifically forbidden by name in the bible. I think the distinction is important because of the results.
     
  13. Lacmeh

    Lacmeh Active Member

    711
    +1
    Stormy, YOU beleive in a God and the Bible, Wiccans DON`T. So rambling to Wiccans abotu how bad they are, because YOUR faith and YOUR God forbids it, doesn´t really impress anyone.
    It would be better for all, if all would assume a stance like live and let live.
    But that would conflict with the absolute truth claims of some religions.
     
  14. Stormy

    Stormy Senior Contributor

    +825
    Christian
    US-Others
    Wiccans sure do not make good apologetics for their religion. :(

    LIVE AND LET LIVE???

    I ask a question and you jump to the attack mode!
     
  15. Lacmeh

    Lacmeh Active Member

    711
    +1
    I did not mean it literally of course.
    I meant it more like forcing religious beliefs onto others and more importantly respect others rights for free pursuing of religion. Wether it is something "vile" or "nonvile" to the holy book someone holds dear. Please note I try to be as nonspecific as I can. Besides Christianity there are othe religions out there,that claim for themself to be the absolute truth, which of course automatically invalidates others beliefs. I don´t really think, that anytime soon any peopel get persecuted for pursuing the "wrong" religion in a modern democracy or republic. I think, generally it is dangerous to cvlaim to know the absolute truth and therefore be the moral one. Religious fanatics burned Satanic Verses by Rushdie, religious fanatics burned Harry Potter books. My personal belief is, such sort of thinking happens only within religions with absolute truth claims.
     
  16. Lacmeh

    Lacmeh Active Member

    711
    +1
    BTW I can´t remember declaring myself Wiccan. I was /am still a member od the Catholic church but not much longer, i think. I tend more to the more ancient belief systems. But I am surely not a declared Wiccan, Druid or any other anient celtic religion follower yet.
     
  17. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

    +85
    Christian
    Married
    You are quite correct, Stormy. God forbids witchcraft due to that specific fact.
     
  18. Havoc

    Havoc Celtic Witch

    +88
    Pagan
    The question, Gunny, was not whether WitchCraft would be acceptable, but whether Witchcraft or Witches were mentioned, specifically and by name, in the bible. They are not.
     
  19. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    A couple of objections.

    Let's say we grant that all sorts of stuff (demonology, conjuring spirits, whatever) is forbidden. Now, let's say that someone wants to try to accomplish something not on that list by "channeling power", which he thinks of as magic. How do we know it's forbidden? I don't see (although I may have missed it) a general condemnation of any attempt to use supernatural forces; I see condemnations of specific practices, and (so far as I can tell) only in the OT in the stuff dealing with cultural practices.

    Secondly, God may not wish me to try to design tools for killing people, but that doesn't mean that my creativity is not a gift from Him. He does give us tools which we *may* choose to use in ways He doesn't approve of. We are free willed.

    So... Let's say that Havoc, being our token person likely to use magic, is at the scene of a car crash, and finds an injured person who is likely to die without medical help. Havoc desperately tries to somehow save this life, pouring his will into trying to heal the dying man.

    I'm not going to be convinced that Satan will be helping. It just doesn't make sense.

    So... either Havoc can do this through his own will, in which case, it's an exercise of free will, and one that looks moral to me, or it's God helping. Either way, it looks fine to me. ...Or it's Havoc's pantheon helping - in which case, many of our beliefs are just plain wrong. But I don't think that's the best explanation. :)
     
  20. TwinCrier

    TwinCrier Double Blessed and spreading the gospel

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    "The question, Gunny, was not whether WitchCraft would be acceptable, but whether Witchcraft or Witches were mentioned, specifically and by name, in the bible. They are not."

    Exodus 22:18
    Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

    Deuteronomy 18:10
    There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.

    1 Samuel 15:23
    For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

    2 Kings 9:22
    And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?

    2 Chronicles 33:6
    And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

    Micah 5:12
    And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:

    Nahum 3:4
    Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.

    Acts 8:9
    But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:

    Acts 8:11
    And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

    Galatians 5:20
    Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
     
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